Strong chances of rain could provide relief from heatwave next week

PHOTO BY NICK SAMUEL

Update Saturday Aug. 12, 2023:

Some much-needed showers forecast for next week could bring some temporary relief from the sweltering heatwave gripping eastern Florida, meteorologists say. The drenching humidity was also expected to dip toward the end of the week.

“The heatwave will last until the beginning of next week,” said Kole Fehling, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne. “Wednesday we will see relief. We’ll have cooler temperatures and an increase in rain chances.”

In the meantime, residents will still need to practice safety tips as the heat index continues to climb over the next few days. The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body.

An excessive heat warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday for Indian River County, followed by a heat advisory Sunday during the same time frame. The warnings and advisories are usually issued anytime up to 24 hours prior so residents can prepare adjustments to their schedules and activities.

“There will be heat warnings and advisories up until Tuesday,” Fehling said.

Sunday and Monday will have a heat index from 108-to-112 degrees, Fehling said. Both days will be partly sunny with highs in the low 90s, dipping to the upper 70s in the evenings.

Chances for rain on Tuesday are 60 percent, which will rise to 70 percent the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne. Tuesday and Wednesday will be partly sunny with highs in the low 90s, sliding down to the upper 70s at night.

Here are some tips from forecasters on how to stay safe during the heatwave:

  • Take frequent breaks from being outside
  • Drink lots of water
  • Take breaks in the shade
  • Wear a hat or sunscreen
  • Check vehicles for children or pets

 

Update Friday Aug. 11, 2023:

The unrelenting heat pounding eastern Florida was expected to bring even more humidity over the weekend, with a heat index sliding up to 116 degrees in Indian River County, forecasters say. An excessive heat warning will take effect from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday for the area.

“It will be really hot,” said Kole Fehling, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

The excessive heat means residents could find unbearable conditions outdoors, from hot sand at the beach to scorching sun in unshaded areas.

The excessive heat warnings are usually issued 24 hours prior so residents can prepare adjustments to their schedules and activities. The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body.

Fehling said Sunday’s temperatures will be similar to Saturday.

Both days will be partly sunny with highs in the low 90s, dipping to the upper 70s at night, meteorologists said. Sunday was forecast to have a 50 percent chance of showers during the day.

Meteorologists want residents to follow these safety tips if they venture outside with family or friends this weekend:

  • Take frequent breaks if outdoors
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stay out of direct sunlight
  • Don’t leave pets or children in the car

Update Thursday Aug. 10, 2023:

Even with a small chance of scattered showers, Thursday and Friday will still be a scorcher for Indian River County, meteorologists say. With the soaring summertime temperatures, forecasters want residents to continuously stay vigilant, safe and practice safety tips.

Weather officials issued another excessive heat warning Thursday for the area, with the heat index climbing between 110 and 112 degrees.

“Today will be pretty gross. It will be hot all afternoon,” National Weather Service in Melbourne Meteorologist Robert Haley said. “(Vero Beach) won’t get any sea breeze and won’t see a drop in the temperature.”

The excessive heat warning – continued from Wednesday – is in effect from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. The rising humidity will extend into Friday, which was forecast to have a heat index between 108 and 110 degrees, Haley said.

The heat index value is what the temperature feels like to the human body. Meteorologists said a heat advisory will take effect from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday for Indian River County.

Thursday and Friday will both be sunny with temperatures in the low 90s, dropping to 70s in the evenings. The sweltering weather led Vero Beach to tie heat records this week.

The city reached a high of 96 degrees Wednesday, matching the previous daily heat record set on the same day in 1991, Haley said. Vero Beach also tied the warm minimum temperature record – how warm it stayed overnight – at 79 degrees, which was last set on Aug. 9, 1993.

“The temperature didn’t fall any lower than 79 degrees,” Haley said. “It was a very warm night.”

Here are some tips from meteorologists on how to avoid heat sickness and exhaustion:

  • Do not participate in strenuous activities outside
  • Reschedule outside activities to later in the evening
  • Take frequent breaks if outside
  • Drink water
  • Stay in the shade

Update Wednesday Aug. 9, 2023:

Residents might want to rethink any outside activities Wednesday, especially during the afternoon, considered to be the hottest part of the day, weather officials say. The reason – an excessive heat warning was issued for Indian River County as dangerously hot temperatures continue to bake Florida.

The heat index value – what the temperature feels like to the human body – for Vero Beach was expected to rise between 108 and 112 degrees Wednesday. On Thursday, the city will experience a heat index value of up to 108 degrees, forecasters said.

The excessive heat warning, which is also in effect for other Florida east coast counties, comes one day after a heat advisory was issued for Vero Beach. The heat warning will last from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to weather officials.

Wednesday and Thursday will have high temperatures in the low 90s before dipping to the high 70s at night, meteorologists said.

Just south in Fort Pierce, the heat index value will hit a baking 115 degrees and will reach up to 113 degrees north in Melbourne, meteorologists said. Here are some tips from weather officials on how to stay safe during the intense heat:

  • Limit exposure to sun
  • Stay hydrated
  • Take frequent breaks indoors
  • If outside, stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Limit exposure to outdoors
  • Wear sunscreen if outdoors
  • Wear protective clothing including a hat and sunglasses if outdoors

Earlier story Tuesday Aug. 8, 2023:

Even for summer heat, the temperatures the past few weeks have been unusually hot, meteorologists say. Even as the Florida Department of Health warned residents about the heat wave gripping parts of the state, Vero Beach residents felt the intense weather first hand.

Tuesday’s heat index value rose to a steamy 110 degrees, with Wednesday to hit between 108 and 112 degrees, forecasters said. The heat index value is what the temperature feels like to the human body when humidity is combined with air temperature.

“Much of the state is seeing above normal temperatures,” National Weather Service in Melbourne Meteorologist Jared Heil said. “With the high humidity, it makes it even worse.”

Weather experts issued a heat advisory in effect from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for Vero Beach extending north past Daytona Beach. The advisory will continue Wednesday during the same time period, which meteorologists say is the hottest part of the day.

“This is a long duration heat event,” Heil said. “The cumulative effects of the heat can be dangerous for folks who are not from here or have to work in these conditions.”

Both days will be sunny with a high temperature in the low 90s, which will dip to the high 70s in the evenings. An excessive heat watch was issued for Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.

The soaring temperatures led towns on the Treasure Coast and Central Florida to either break or tie daily heat records for their areas Tuesday.

The city of Fort Pierce broke a daily heat record last set more than 100 years ago. The coastal town hit 97 degrees, exceeding the daily record of 96 degrees last set on this day in 1920, Meteorologist Kole Fehling said.

Orlando reached 99 degrees, surpassing the old record high of 98 degrees last set in 1987, weather experts said. Vero Beach tied the daily heat record of 97 degrees last set in 2011, while Melbourne matched the daily record of 98 degrees last set back in 2011.

The Florida Department of Health issued a public alert Tuesday morning notifying residents to stay vigilant during the heat wave. Here are some tips from the health officials on how to beat the heat:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol, as they can lead to dehydration.
  • Stay cool. Avoid direct sunlight and long exposure to the sun. Spend time in air-conditioned environments. If you do not have access to air conditioning, consider visiting public buildings or public spaces with shade.  Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing to help your body regulate its temperature. Protect your head and face with a wide-brimmed hat and use sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Minimize outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. If you must be outside, take frequent breaks in shaded areas and avoid strenuous physical exertion.
  • Check on vulnerable individuals. Keep an eye on elderly neighbors, young children, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions, as they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Ensure they have access to a cool environment and sufficient hydration.
  • Never leave children, vulnerable individuals, or pets unattended in vehicle. Temperatures inside a parked car can rise rapidly, even with the windows slightly open, and can be life-threatening.

 

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